Dishy challenged South Park fans to try and explain what we found funny about South Park, so here it is. Please excuse the usual spelling and grammatical errors.
Also, please note the plan is to turn all the South Park/Family Guy stuff into one big thread, which Josh is going to do…… Any time now……..[Which you can find here:- Josh]
WHY I LIKE SOUTH PARK
[Check it out after the jump:- Josh]
Here is why I like South Park. South Park does two things particularly well ? parody and satire. The parody is very funny, whether they are parodying specifics television or movies (like last week’s excellent 24 ep, or the recent go over for Super Nanny and Nanny 911) or parodying more general clich?s. The attacking of innumerable film and TV clich?s has created many of my all time favourite episodes such as the ep when Stan is challenged to a ski race which he must win to save the youth center, get the girl and free some Indian spirits despite having only started learning to ski a few days prior or the episode where they have put together a dance crew after getting challenged to a dance off. Or the early episode parodying clip show episodes, retelling several South Park stories with slight differences, all ending in getting ice cream. Or the one where everyone bar Butters ignored Cartman, who then assumed he was dead and kept trying to do one last good deed to ascend into heaven.
Almost every episode is a clever parody of some film or television clich?s. It is witty and it’s funny.
They also attack clich?s from day to day life with great results, like the time the boys discovered their parents had deliberately given them chicken pox, so the deliberately give their parents herpes. Or the flip of team sports ? where the whole team wants to lose rather than win so they can stop playing baseball and get on with their summer.
South Park is very clever at bending your expectations. This alone (the unexpected) can be hugely funny, like what happens to Ike’s peewee ice hockey team in the big game, or Cartman grinding his enemy’s parents up and feeding them to him in chilli.
SP also does great satire. Great satire should make you think about issues. It should make you question. South Park satire isn’t usually terribly subtle, but is often very funny and true. Like the take on obsession with cosmetic surgery to make people ‘look on the outside like they feel on the inside’ resulting in Kyle getting a Negro-plasty and his dad getting a dolphin-plasty. Or the run of bi-curious suicides reacting against being changed by over zealous Christians. Or the satire of teacher student relationships with 4-year-old Ike having an affair with his kindergarten teacher. It’s all funny and does make you question the society we live in.
When they cover current events it’s even better, like the beaver dam/New Orleans episode or the genius take on the 2000 presidential elections reworked as Ike’s kindergarten elections. This is stinging satire and their lightning turn around from concept to episode means they are usually incredibly relevant and up to date.
The way the characters have been developed is very clever too. Obviously they are not realistic 10 year olds, but I love the mix of world-weariness and naivety Stan and Kyle have. It is continually funny. Something else I enjoy is something South Park has inherited from the Simpsons and that is that all are on an even playing field in SP. Rich, poor, black, white, democrat, republican ? everybody in the South Park universe is stupid. And everybody is as stupid as each other. Certainly the adults are.
And you know what else I love about South Park? Butters. Butters rocks. Whether he or his alter ego Professor Chaos, an episode with Butters in it is usually a good one. He is just so buoyant and innocent and likable (“Lou, lou, lou ? I’ve got some apples”). Love Butters.
Hmmm, for some reason I feel like watching some South Park!!
As for why I don’t like Family Guy, well that’s a whole nother story…